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Chiefs have turned once-proud Bangor into a laughing stock, blasts Linfield's Mulgrew

 

By Graham Luney

Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew has launched a scathing attack on the Bangor chiefs who failed to stop the club dropping out of Irish League football.

Mulgrew was in celebratory mood on Saturday when his Linfield side won the Danske Bank Premiership, but he still shed a tear for his hometown club, who he labelled "a laughing stock".

Jamie's brother Ben was in the Seasiders side on Saturday, but he was powerless to stop a 2-0 defeat to Sport & Leisure Swifts which sealed their fate.

Failure to apply for a Championship licence at the end of last season saw Bangor drop into the Premier Intermediate League, but this time it was their form on the pitch which has left them with an uncertain future.

The 99-year-old club had proudly competed in domestic football's top flight and in Europe, with an Irish Cup triumph in 1993 a special highlight, but after netting a woeful 29 points from 27 matches this season, it's become a dark chapter for those in gold and royal blue.

Jamie, who is hoping to lift the Tennent's Irish Cup at Windsor Park on Saturday, could not hide his disgust at how far Bangor have fallen.

"It didn't come into my mind until Sunday," said Jamie.

"I need to be careful what I say here because it makes my blood boil to be honest.

"I grew up in Bangor and when I was younger I would have gone to watch matches at Clandeboye Park on a Saturday. I think it's a disgrace. From top to bottom. If we're honest, the club is a laughing stock.

"I know that the guys on that board are experienced football men, but the decisions they have made make them look inexperienced. It's very short sighted.

"From the outside looking in, there are also problems on the pitch.

"They had the opportunity in January to bring in experienced players and that didn't happen. Maybe the management didn't want experienced players or didn't know how to handle experienced players. I'm not sure.

"I went to a bar on Sunday in Bangor for a few drinks with family and there were guys there who watch the team on a regular basis.

"Everyone was talking about it and everyone agreed something has to change."

Bangor battled their way into a play-off for a Premiership place at the end of the 2014-2015 season but they lost on penalties to Warrenpoint Town - a far cry from where they are now.

Mulgrew added: "To go from getting to the County Antrim Shield final and being one game away from the Premiership and then two years later you're out of the league? That's shambolic. The supporters deserve some answers, whether they get them or not remains to be seen."

Seasiders chairman Trevor Best apologised to fans who have been left stunned by developments. In a statement, he commented: "The chairman and football secretary are currently in talks with the various Intermediate leagues available to decide the best future league for Bangor FC to play in this coming season and as soon as this is confirmed we will communicate this to you accordingly.

"Over the next few weeks will see a lot of meetings taking place and we aim to communicate the outcomes of these as soon as possible."

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